May 20, 2021

Julius Caesar

Everyone knows the name Julius Caesar. Everyone knows the name Shakespeare. And if you live in Wellington you should know the name Stagecraft.

Their latest production is a modern enactment of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It's staged in the round, just as it was traditionally. There is no getting away from other audience members, with only two rows there's no hiding, or the actors. The central floor holds fights and riots which spill into the wings. If you're not a fan of flashing lights and loud noises this may not be the production for you.

As any good Shakespeare play it ends with a pile of bodies. It's a shame there isn't any blood, especially as it is so central to one scene, but it's understandable why it was left out. It's messy and would ruin the costumes - and make it hard for actors to play multiple parts.

Julius Caesar tells a well known tale of an ambitious politician with a hot young wife (this needs to be mentioned because it is super uncomfortable when they kiss) and the revolutionaries who are hell bent on bringing him down. Although I've read Shakespeare I hadn't read this one and was surprised how early in the piece the major events happened.

You'll be delighted by the gender swaps (too much testosterone on stage otherwise) and the familiar phrases including: "the fault in our stars", "mortal instruments", "Romans, friends, countrymen, lend me your ears", and the classic joke "it's all Greek to me".

Performances: 19-29 May (times vary)

Tickets: $25

May 2, 2021

Things I Know To Be True

The Price family are a normal, nice, middle class family from Australia, though with four kids they are bigger than the average family. The parents, Bob and Fran, have worked hard to give their kids the opportunities they never had. And the kids have, well, squandered them.

Set in the backyard of the family home this play follows a very eventful year in the life of the Price family. In the way that a problem shared is a problem halved individual dramas become family dramas. Leaves fall, rain falls (literally) and so do masks. Each family member gets their time in centre stage to reveal the secrets they've kept from their family and the effects of this ricochet out.

It's about taking responsibility for your own actions, being your authentic self, growing up and, moving away from the safety of the family you've always known. At first everything appears perfect but cracks begin to show as we watch the family implode on itself. Can they find their way back to each other despite everything that's happened?

Don't see this show if you are at all embarrassed about crying in public. Do see it with a family member; it will open conversations that need to be had.

Performances: 30 April - 29 May (times vary)

Tickets: $52